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\input texinfo.tex @c -*-texinfo-*-
@c %**start of header
@settitle El-Get User Manual
@c @documentencoding utf-8
@c %**end of header
@dircategory Emacs
* El-Get: (el-get). Using el-get to manage your Emacs Extensions.
@end direntry
Copyright @copyright{} 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 Dimitri Fontaine.
Version 2, December 2004
Copyright (C) 2004 Sam Hocevar @email{}
Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim or modified
copies of this license document, and changing it is allowed as long
as the name is changed.
@end quotation
@end copying
@node Top
@top El-Get User Manual
El-Get is an Emacs Extension manager that allows you to install,
update and remove external Emacs Lisp extensions. More importantly,
El-Get will care about initializing installed extensions for you at
Emacs Startup.
* Introduction::
* Acknowledgments::
* Glossary::
* Installing::
* Usage::
* Setup::
* User Init::
* Recipes::
* Authoring Recipes::
@end menu
@node Introduction
@chapter Introduction
El-Get allows you to install and manage Emacs Lisp code for Emacs. It
supports lots of differents types of sources and is able to install
them, update them and remove them, and more importantly it will init
them for you.
That means it will @code{require} the @code{features} you need,
@code{load} the necessary files, set the @code{Info} paths so that
@kbd{C-h i} shows the new documentation you now depend on, and finally
call your own @code{post-init} function for you to setup the
extension. Or call it a package.
El-Get Version String (@code{M-x el-get-version}) are now inspired by
how Emacs itself numbers its versions. First is the major version
number, then a dot, then the minor version number. The minor version
number is 0 when still developing the next major version. So 3.0 is a
developer release while 3.1 is a stable release.
Please note that this versioning policy has been picked while backing
1.2~dev, so 1.0 was a "stable" release in fact. Ah, history.
El-Get is considered to now have reached a very stable state where it
only receives bug fixes, code refactoring, and new recipes. The
current version is now 5.1, which is stable, and maintained in the
``master'' git branch.
@node Acknowledgments
@chapter Acknowledgments
Dimitri Fontaine started the whole project and still manages the
releases, and sometimes even contribute code and documentation.
Julien Danjou has been a contributor since very early days, about the
first beta tester of the idea, before we really knew how much to
Ryan C. Thompson joined and commented some issues, began contributing
and quickly became top-level and most active contributor to the
project, getting a commit bit and some management duties. He manages
tests and issues on github as much as he can spares time to El-Get.
Dave Abrahams contributed lots of code and efforts to make things
right™. He's still using El-Get, but decided to retire from the
Lots of people (more than we can list here) did contribute to El-Get
either recipes, bug fixes or ideas to implement, often with code. That
builds up an awesome community, thanks guys!
~/dev/emacs/el-get git --no-pager shortlog -n -s | wc -l
~/dev/emacs/el-get git --no-pager shortlog -n -s | head -15
1058 Dimitri Fontaine
359 Ryan C. Thompson
159 Julien Danjou
110 Dave Abrahams
97 Sébastien Gross
94 Takafumi Arakaki
92 yagnesh రాఘవ
86 Ryan Thompson
73 Rüdiger Sonderfeld
62 David Holm
56 Yakkala Yagnesh Raghava
48 Alex Ott
40 Shigenobu Nishikawa
35 Damien Cassou
23 Reuben Thomas
@end example
@node Glossary
@chapter Glossary
@table @asis
@item Autoload
Delay loading a package definition until its first use.
@item Build
Action that happens at @xref{Glossary - Install}, and @xref{Glossary -
Update}. Packages might skip any @code{build} step entirely. When
given, the build step allows to run system level tools (think
@code{make}), often to produce to derivative files.
@item Byte-Compile
Action to compile Emacs Lisp files so that loading them is
faster. El-Get is able to automatically manage that step at install
and update time so that init time is faster, see @xref{Glossary -
@item Dependency
Any El-Get package can depend on some others. At install time, El-Get
will make sure all dependant packages are installed first. At init
time, same thing will happen. Dependency management is solved with a
topological sort so that if you install a package @code{a} that
depends on a package @code{b} that depends on a package @code{c},
El-Get will install @code{c} then @code{b} then @code{a}.
@anchor{Glossary - Init}
@item Init
When you start Emacs you want your packages to get setup and ready to
serve whatever usage you have of this advanced Operating
System. El-Get calls this setup step the @code{init} and will care
about initializing your packages automatically given a @xref{Glossary
- Recipe}.
@anchor{Glossary - Install}
@item Install
El-Get install a package by fetching its sources as described in the
package recipe, then running the build steps if the recipe contains
@item Method
An El-Get method is a backend code providing facilities to fetch,
install, update and remove external code. El-Get currently implements
methods that targets @code{apt-get}, @code{brew}, @code{builtin},
@code{bzr}, @code{cvs}, @code{darcs}, @code{elpa}, @code{emacsmirror},
@code{emacswiki}, @code{fink}, @code{fossil}, @code{git} and
@code{git-svn}, @code{github} @code{github-tar} and @code{github-zip},
@code{go}, @code{hg}, @code{http} @code{http-tar} and @code{http-zip},
@code{pacman} and @code{svn}.
@item Notification
El-Get notifies its user when a package is done installing, updating
or removing. It knows how to use several system level notification
facilities, such as @code{DBUS} or @command{growl}.
@item Package
A package is what El-Get manages for you. It's a set of Emacs Lisp
files (possible a set of a single file, possibly with some Info
documentation and build scripts, etc) that El-Get knows how to fetch
and install, update and remove, and init at Emacs Startup.
@anchor{Glossary - Recipe}
@item Recipe
An El-Get recipe describes a package in terms that allow El-Get to
provide its features against that package. It's easy enough to write
recipes, and fun to share them!
@item Remove
El-Get removes a package by simple removing the directory where the
package is installed. If you want the features of the package to get
unloaded, most often the easier way to do that is to restart Emacs.
@anchor{Glossary - Status}
@item Status
One of @code{available}, @code{installed}, @code{required} or
@code{removed}. When El-Get is asked to install a package, the status
is set to @code{required} before to fetch and build it, so that in
case of error the system knows to try installing again.
@anchor{Glossary - Update}
@item Update
El-Get updates a package in different ways, depending on the package
type and the associated method. In some cases it's not possible to
update a package, like when it switched from @code{svn} to @code{git}
for example.
@end table
@node Installing
@chapter Installing
El-Get comes with a @code{*scratch*}-installer. Ideally you would
install El-Get with El-Get itself, but I couldn't figure out how to do
that, so instead you have to copy and paste the following code into
your @code{*scratch*} buffer and evaluate it:
;; So the idea is that you copy/paste this code into your *scratch* buffer,
;; hit C-j, and you have a working el-get.
(lambda (s)
(goto-char (point-max))
@end example
To evaluate that code, you place the point at the end of the text
block (just after the last closing paren) and you type @kbd{C-j}.
* Install the developer version::
* Skip Emacswiki recipes when installing::
* Shallow clone when installing::
@end menu
@node Install the developer version
@section Developer version
The lazy installer uses the default @file{el-get-install.el} file
which targets the @code{stable} branch. To install El-Get directly on
the @code{master} branch, summon the @code{el-get-master-branch}
variable into existence:
;; So the idea is that you copy/paste this code into your *scratch* buffer,
;; hit C-j, and you have a working developer edition of el-get.
(lambda (s)
(let (el-get-master-branch)
(goto-char (point-max))
@end example
@node Skip Emacswiki recipes when installing
@section Skip Emacswiki recipes when installing
The installer will fetch from emacswiki all the recipe available there
and install a local copy of those in your system automatically. Should
you want to disable that feature, the following snippet is showing how
;; So the idea is that you copy/paste this code into your *scratch* buffer,
;; hit C-j, and you have a working el-get (without emacswiki automatic
;; recipes).
(lambda (s)
(let (el-get-install-skip-emacswiki-recipes)
(goto-char (point-max))
@end example
@node Shallow clone when installing
@section Shallow clone when installing
@code{--depth 1}
Should you want to run @code{git-clone} with @code{--depth 1} when
installing El-Get itself, the following snippet is showing how to:
(lambda (s)
(let (el-get-install-shallow-clone)
(goto-char (point-max))
@end example
@node Usage
@chapter Usage
Now that El-Get is installed, simply use @code{M-x el-get-install} and
pick whatever package you need.
Here's a list of commands provided by El-Get:
@table @code
@item el-get-list-packages
List all available packages with their names, @xref{Glossary -
Status}, and description. Name and description are taken from the
recipe file of the package.
You can find which recipe file is used for a given package using
@code{el-get-find-recipe-file} or @code{el-get-describe}.
@item el-get-describe
Offers a full text description of a package with buttons to install,
remove and update, and with the recipe content.
@item el-get-find-recipe-file
Find the recipe file for given recipe, prompted.
@item el-get-install
Install given package, as prompted.
@item el-get-init
Initialize given package, as prompted. If some user code is setup to be
run at initialisation, it will get run by this command. See @xref{User
@item el-get-update
Update a given package, as prompted. In some cases a straight update
is not possible (recipe switched from CVS to git is a common
reason). El-Get will try and detect such cases and do
@code{el-get-remove} then @code{el-get-install} if necessary.
Please realise that updating packages might break your current package
setup and that you will have to revisit your setup accordingly.
@item el-get-remove
Remove given package, as prompted.
@item el-get-self-update
Update El-Get itself, and force that update to be synchronous. That
allows to make sure you're not updating El-Get code while trying to
update or install some other package at the same time.
@item el-get-update-all
Will update all packages that have the @code{installed} status in your
status file. Before the update you will be prompted for confirmation
that you wish to proceed.
Beware that using this function can lead to hours of settings review:
more often than not updating a package requires some adjustments to
your setup. Updating all of them at once will require reviewing
almost all your setup.
@item el-get-reload
Reload the given package files. Happens automatically at update time
@end table
@node Setup
@chapter Setup
El-Get setup can be very simple or arbitrarily complex. This chapter
explains how to do the very basic setup, which allow for using
@code{M-x el-get-install} and friends, then how to get a more involved
* Basic Setup::
* The el-get function::
* Distributed Setup::
* The el-get-bundle macro::
* Setup Customization::
@end menu
@node Basic Setup
@section Basic Setup
You can then arrange to have El-Get part of your setup, so that at
next emacs startup the installed packages are initialized.
(add-to-list 'load-path "~/.emacs.d/el-get/el-get")
(unless (require 'el-get nil t)
(goto-char (point-max))
(add-to-list 'el-get-recipe-path "~/.emacs.d/el-get-user/recipes")
(el-get 'sync)
@end example
The @code{el-get} command will check that each and every package is
installed on your system (in @code{el-get-dir} and if that's not the
case, it will actually install it. Then, it will init the packages:
that means caring about the @code{load-path}, the
@code{Info-directory-list} (and dir texinfo menu building) the loading
of the emacs-lisp files, and finally it will require the features or
eval the package @code{autoloads}.
This usage is pretty simple to setup and use, but fails to cater with
more complex setups involving multiple deployments (home and work
laptop would be a classic example). El-Get fully supports that
distributed setup, though, and this chapter explain how.
@node The el-get function
@section The el-get function
Ensure that packages have been downloaded once and init them as needed.
This will not update the sources by using @code{apt-get install} or
@command{git pull}, but it will ensure that:
@itemize @bullet
@item the packages have been installed
@item load-path is set so their elisp files can be found
@item Info-directory-list is set so their info files can be found
@item Autoloads have been prepared and evaluated for each package
@item Any post-installation setup (e.g. `(require 'feature)') happens
@end itemize
When @var{sync} is @code{nil} (the default), all installations run
concurrently, in the background.
When @var{sync} is @code{sync}, each package will be installed
synchronously, and any error will stop it all.
Please note that the @code{el-get-init} part of @code{el-get} is
always done synchronously. There's @code{byte-compile} support though,
and the packages you use are welcome to use @code{autoload} too. You
can also force your setup to be loaded lazily with the
@code{el-get-is-lazy} variable.
@code{PACKAGES} is expected to be a list of packages you want to
install or init. When @code{PACKAGES} is omited (the default), the
list of already installed packages is considered.
@node Distributed Setup
@section Distributed Setup
When you are sharing your emacs setup between several machines (work
and home destops, laptop, etc); it's usual to manage your
@code{.emacs.d} setup in a distributed repository (such as
@code{git}). El-Get then provides an easy canonical list of packages
you depend on to run emacs, and this documentation is usable
as-is. It is recommended that you not store the El-Get tree in git,
however; to prevent this, so you can add a pattern @code{/el-get} to
(add-to-list 'load-path "~/.emacs.d/el-get/el-get")
(require 'el-get)
;; local sources
(setq el-get-sources
'((:name magit
:after (global-set-key (kbd "C-x C-z") 'magit-status))
(:name asciidoc
:type elpa
:after (progn
(autoload 'doc-mode "doc-mode" nil t)
(add-to-list 'auto-mode-alist '("\\.adoc$" . doc-mode))
(add-hook 'doc-mode-hook
'(lambda ()
(require 'asciidoc)))))
(:name lisppaste :type elpa)
(:name emacs-goodies-el :type apt-get)))
(setq my-packages
'(cssh el-get switch-window vkill google-maps nxhtml xcscope yasnippet)
(mapcar 'el-get-source-name el-get-sources)))
(el-get 'sync my-packages)
@end example
Please note that when you unreference a package from
@code{my-packages}, it remains locally installed.
Going one step further with the idea of a canonical list, el-get
provides the command @code{el-get-cleanup}, which will remove all
packages absent from @code{my-packages}. This allows, in effect, to
put under version control only the user init file, instead of the
whole @code{.emacs.d} directory, and still enjoy a truly portable
emacs configuration.
In the code example above, replace the last line with the following:
(el-get-cleanup my-packages)
(el-get 'sync my-packages)
@end example
You can also use @code{el-get-bundle} macro as a syntactic sugar to
specify a local source to install. With this macro, nothing other
than specified packages is installed.
(add-to-list 'load-path "~/.emacs.d/el-get/el-get")
(require 'el-get)
;; packages from recipe files
(el-get 'sync
'(cssh el-get switch-window vkill google-maps nxhtml xcscope yasnippet))
;; local sources
(el-get-bundle magit
(global-set-key (kbd "C-x C-z") 'magit-status))
(el-get-bundle elpa:asciidoc
(autoload 'doc-mode "doc-mode" nil t)
(add-to-list 'auto-mode-alist '("\\.adoc$" . doc-mode))
(add-hook 'doc-mode-hook
'(lambda ()
(require 'asciidoc))))
(el-get-bundle elpa:lisppaste)
(el-get-bundle apt-get:emacs-goodies-el)
@end example
@node The el-get-bundle macro
@section The el-get-bundle macro
The macro @code{el-get-bundle} is a syntactic sugar which allows you to
tell El-Get to install some package with a local source definition and
initialization code for the package. It is called in a form
@code{(el-get-bundle @var{package} @var{properties} @var{code})}, where
@var{package} specifies a package name, @var{properties} specifies a
local recipe definition and @var{code} specifies initialization code.
@subsection Just install some package
To install a package whose source is already defined in a recipe file,
use @code{el-get-bundle} macro with the package name.
(el-get-bundle color-moccur)
@end example
This is essentially equivalent to the following code.
(el-get 'sync 'color-moccur)
@end example
@subsection Install some package with requiring it
If you also want to @code{require} the package, use
@code{el-get-bundle!} macro.
(el-get-bundle! color-moccur)
@end example
When the name of the feature you require is different from the package
name (the recipe name), use @code{@var{feature} in @var{package}}
(el-get-bundle! yaicomplete in github:tarao/elisp)
@end example
If you wish to @code{require} more than one feature, then put them in a
@code{:features} property.
(el-get-bundle github:tarao/elisp
:features (yaicomplete mode-line-color))
@end example
@subsection Install some package and configure it
You can write initalization code after the package name.
(el-get-bundle anything
(global-set-key (kbd "C-x b") #'anything-for-files))
@end example
You can provide multiple initialization code for a single package by
writing @code{el-get-bundle} macro call may times. Each initialization
code is evaluated when the corresponding @code{el-get-bundle} macro call
is evaluated.
Initialization code is automatically compiled when they are evaluated
for the first time (after you modified the file enclosing the code) if
@code{el-get-bundle-byte-compile} is non-nil. The initialization code
is saved to a file in @code{el-get-bundle-init-directory} together
with a compiled version.
Note that you should not call functions or refer to variables defined
in the package if the package is going to be autoloaded. In such
case, you should use @code{with-eval-after-load} macro.
(el-get-bundle anything
(global-set-key (kbd "C-x b") #'anything-for-files))
(with-eval-after-load 'anything
;; referring to `anything-map' requires "anything.el" to be loaded
(define-key anything-map (kbd "M-n") #'anything-next-source)
(define-key anything-map (kbd "M-p") #'anything-previous-source))
@end example
If you want the form passed to @code{with-eval-after-load} to be
compiled together with the initialization code, you can use
@code{with-eval-after-load-feature}} instead or you will get
"reference to free variable" warnings during the compilation.
(el-get-bundle with-eval-after-load-feature)
(el-get-bundle anything
(global-set-key (kbd "C-x b") #'anything-for-files)
(with-eval-after-load-feature 'anything
;; referring to `anything-map' requires "anything.el" to be loaded
(define-key anything-map (kbd "M-n") #'anything-next-source)
(define-key anything-map (kbd "M-p") #'anything-previous-source)))
@end example
@subsection Pass options to package source definitions
If you want to override a package source definition in a recipe file or
define a new definition, you can pass a property list after the package
For example, if you want to install @code{zenburn-theme} but want to
use other version than El-Get's default recipe, you can reuse the
default recipe with overriding @code{:url} option.
(el-get-bundle zenburn-theme
:url ""
(load-theme 'zenburn t))
@end example
If you want to define a new package source, then supply full options.
(el-get-bundle! zlc
:type github :pkgname "mooz/emacs-zlc"
:description "Provides zsh like completion for minibuffer in Emacs"
:website "")
@end example
The property @code{:type} is required if the package source is already
defined but you don't reuse it. Otherwise, if the package source is not
defined yet, you can omit @code{:type} property as long as it can be
guessed from @code{:url}.
(el-get-bundle! zlc :url "")
;; equivalent to
;; (el-get-bundle! zlc :type git :url "")
@end example
For further information on available properties for a recipe source,
@xref{Recipe format}.
@subsection Syntax sugars for package source definitions
There are some ways to specify package source options by package name
modifiers. With these modifiers, you can omit @code{:type} property.
@table @code
@item @var{owner}/
Specifies a github owner name.
@item gist:@var{id}
Specifies a gist ID.
@item @var{type}:
Specifies a type for the package.
@end table
(el-get-bundle tarao/tab-group)
;; equivalent to
;; (el-get-bundle tab-group :type github :pkgname "tarao/tab-group")
(el-get-bundle! gist:4362564:init-loader)
;; equivalent to
;; (el-get-bundle! init-loader :type git :url "")
(el-get-bundle elpa:undo-tree)
;; equivalent to
;; (el-get-bundle undo-tree :type elpa)
@end example
@subsection Customization
@table @code
@item el-get-bundle-init-dir
Directory where a copy of initialization code specified in a
@code{el-get-bundle} macro call and its byte-compiled version are
saved. Defaults to @file{~/.emacs.d/el-get/bundle-init/}.
@item el-get-bundle-byte-compile
Whether to compile initialization code in a @code{el-get-bundle} macro
call. Defaults to @code{t}.
@end table
@node Setup Customization
@section Setup Customization
Even though the defaults that are provided by El-Get provide all that
you need to get it working, there may be a reason to manually define
certain settings, particularly for portability.
@table @code
@item el-get-dir
Path where packages are installed. Defaults to
@item el-get-install-dir
Path for the @code{el-get} package. Defaults to
@item el-get-install-branch
If this is set, El-Get will be installed using the target
@code{branch}. This takes precedence over setting
@code{el-get-master-branch} in the installation settings, see
@item el-get-git-install-url
Use this to specify your own fork of El-Get for installation.
@item el-get-recipe-path-elpa
This directory stores a local list of ELPA recipes.
@item el-get-recipe-path-emacswiki
As above for ELPA, this directory stores a local list of emacswiki
recipes. Defaults to
@item el-get-allow-insecure
This determines whether or not El-Get will attempt to install packages
over insecure connections; setting it to nil (recommended) will cause
it to abort upon any install or update operation which uses an
unencrypted URL.
@end table
@node User Init
@chapter User Init
The main task performed by El-Get is package initialization at Emacs
startup. It will care about all of them, their dependencies, and call
code provided by the recipe author. You can add your own setup code
and register it in a way that El-Get will evaluate it at the right
The package setup can either go into the @code{:after} property, or in
a file named @file{init-package.el} in
@code{el-get-user-package-directory}. Any such named file will get
automatically loaded by El-Get at package init time, if it exists.
* Before and After properties ::
* Initialization files::
@end menu
@node Before and After properties
@section Before and After properties
The @code{:before} and @code{:after} properties are evaluated by
El-Get in the package initialization sequence.
@table @code
@item :before
This should be a lisp form to evaluate after both the
@code{Info-directory-list} and the @code{load-path} variables have
been taken care of, but before loading the package or any further
action from @code{el-get-init}. It will be run with the variable
@code{default-directory} set to the package directory.
@item :after
This should be a lisp form to evaluate after loading the package.
This function is registered for @code{eval-after-load} against the
recipe library by @code{el-get-init} once the @code{:load} and
@code{:features} have been setup. It will be run with the variable
@code{default-directory} set to the package directory.
@end table
Here's a couple of examples of package recipes that are using
@code{:before} and @code{:after} properties:
(:name asciidoc
:type elpa
:after (lambda ()
(autoload 'doc-mode "doc-mode" nil t)
(add-to-list 'auto-mode-alist '("\\.adoc$" . doc-mode))
(add-hook 'doc-mode-hook '(lambda ()
(require 'asciidoc)))))
(:name anything
:features anything-config
:before (global-set-key (kbd "M-s a") 'dim:anything-occur)
:after (setq w3m-command nil))
@end example
@node Initialization files
@section Initialization files
El-Get will see if a file named @file{init-package.el} exists in the
directory pointed at by the @code{el-get-user-package-directory}
variable. When this variable is not nil and if such a file does exist
in the directory, then El-Get will load the user init file for
The initialization file is loaded at the same time as the
@code{:after} property would have be run, and just before it if you
provide both.
El-Get automatically byte compiles the init file as needed and load
the compiled version.
@node Recipes
@chapter Recipes
All of El-Get behavior is controled with recipes that you can share,
download, update and author. This chapter explain how to manage your
recipes and how to author them and ship them.
Recipes are a list of properties, which are documented in the variable
* Organizing recipes::
* Getting more recipes::
* Overriding package files::
@end menu
@node Organizing recipes
@section Organizing recipes
El-Get needs to find a package recipe to be able to install or update
it. After that the recipe content is saved in the status file and
cached, so that you can still start Emacs even if you remove the
recipe file.
The variable @code{el-get-recipe-path} is a list of directory paths
to search for recipe files, in order. The recipe for a package
@code{example} must be named @code{example.rcp}. The first file named
that way in the @code{el-get-recipe-path} variable is used as the
recipe. If you need to change it, you should do so immediately before
running @code{el-get}; see the example in @xref{Basic Setup}.
To check which recipe is used for a given package, use either the
@code{M-x el-get-describe} or @code{M-x el-get-find-recipe-file}
This organisation with several path allow you to setup El-Get to use
its own recipes, recipes automatically created from online resources
(such as Emacswiki), and your own local recipes.
As it's easy for El-Get to use your own recipes in the exact same way
than it uses its own recipes, it allows you to share them very
easily. Send the file to a friend and have it store it at the right
It's also possible to setup @code{el-get-sources} with recipe
information. As long as the @code{type} property is not filled in
@code{el-get-sources}, El-Get will first find the recipe as usual and
then merge the recipe content with the recipe skeleton provided by the
matching @code{el-get-sources} stanza.
El-Get also supports full User Init files, see @xref{User Init}.
@node Getting more recipes
@section Getting more recipes
The command @code{M-x el-get-emacswiki-refresh} downloads the list of
Emacs Lisp files available at EmacsWiki. El-Get is able to
automatically install any such file at the right place in
@code{el-get-dir}. The integration of an automatically generated
recipe is often not enough, you often have to add some initialisation
code. See @xref{User Init}.
The command @code{el-get-elpa-build-local-recipes} downloads the list
of Emacs Lisp Packages from the ELPA archives you have setup, and make
them automatically available for El-Get.
@node Overriding package files
@section Overriding package files
El-Get manages the files associated with a package. You can browse
those files using the @code{el-get-cd} function. It's possible to hack
on those files, be aware that doing so might break your setup
capability to handle upgrades.
@node Authoring Recipes
@chapter Authoring Recipes
Authoring recipes is often very easy. El-Get goal is to adapt to any
Emacs Lisp code and distribution you can find out there in the wild,
so the list of features supported is quite large. Simple cases are
very simple, though.
If you want to submit recipes as pull request, please make sure to run
recipe checker (@pxref{Recipe checker}) and paste the result in the pull
request comment.
* Recipe format::
* Dependencies::
* Byte Compilation::
* Autoloads::
* Build::
* Recipe checker::
@end menu
@node Recipe format
@section Recipe format
The recipe for the hypothetical package named @code{el-get-example}
must be provided in a file named @file{el-get-example.rcp}. This file
will be searched for as described in @xref{Organizing recipes}. The
variable @code{el-get-sources} is also considered as a recipe source,
as detailed in @xref{Organizing recipes}.
A recipe file contains a lisp property list. Accepted properties are
described in the documentation for the variable @code{el-get-sources},
and their possible values are described at the same place.
If your property list is missing the @code{:type} property, then it's
merged with the recipe one, so that you can override any definition
provided by @code{el-get} recipes locally.
@table @code
@item :name
The name of the package. It can be different from the name of the
directory where the package is stored (after a @code{git clone} for
example), in which case a symlink will be created.
@item :depends
A single package name, or a list of package names, on which the
package depends. All of a packages dependencies will be installed
before the package is installed.
@item :builtin
A string containing the Emacs version (see @var{emacs-major-version}
variable) from which Emacs includes the recipe as a builtin. For
example, @file{package.el} (the implementation of ELPA) is part of
Emacs 24 but needs an external recipe for previous major versions.
Unlike the builtin @code{:type} no @code{:build} or @code{:info}
properties are executed if this matches.
@item :pkgname
The name of the package for the underlying package management system
(apt-get, fink or pacman, also supported by github and emacsmirror),
which can be different from the Emacs package name.
@item :type
The type of the package, currently el-get offers support for apt-get,
elpa, git, github, emacsmirror, git-svn, bzr svn, cvs, darcs, fink,
ftp, emacswiki, http-tar, pacman, hg and http. You can easily support
your own types here, see @var{el-get-methods}.
@item :branch
Which branch to fetch when using git (and by extension, github and
emacsmirror, which are derived from git). Also supported in the
installer in el-get-install.
@item :url
Where to fetch the package, only meaningful for git and http types.
@item :username, :pkgname
For the github type, these specify the user name and repo name to
clone from Github. For example, for el-get, the user name would be
@code{"dimitri"} , and the repo name would be @code{"el-get"} . As
described above, the @code{:pkgname} property is only required if the
repo name on Github differs from the Emacs package name. Note that the
emacsmirror type is just like the github type with @code{:username}
set to @code{"emacsmirror"} .
@item :build
Your build recipe, a list. A build command C whose `car' is a symbol
(see `symbolp') will be replaced by (eval C).
Then, each element of the recipe will be interpreted as a command:
If the element is a list of string, the first element of the list must
be the program to call, and each following element a different
argument to the call. No whitespace parsing is done.
Otherwise, if it is a list, any list sub-elements will be recursively
"flattened" (see @code{el-get-flatten}). The resulting strings will
be interpreted as individual shell arguments, appropriately quoted.
@item :build/system-type
Your specific build recipe for a given @var{system-type} gets there
and looks like @code{:build}.
@item :load-path
A directory or a list of directories you want El-Get to add to your
@var{load-path}. Those directories are relative to where the package
gets installed.
@item :compile
Allow to restrict what to byte-compile: by default, El-Get will
compile all elisp files in the @code{:load-path} directories, unless a
@code{:build} command exists for the package source. Given a
@code{:compile} property, El-Get will only byte-compile those given
files, directories or filename-regexpes in the property value. This
property can be a @code{listp} or a @code{stringp} if you want to
compile only one of those.
@item :info
This string allows you to setup a directory where to find a
@file{} file, or a @file{path/to/} file. It
will even run @code{ginstall-info} for you to create the @file{dir}
entry so that @kbd{C-h i} will be able to list the newly installed
documentation. Note that you might need to kill (@kbd{C-x k} ) your
info buffer then @kbd{C-h i} again to be able to see the new menu
@item :load
List of files to load, or a single file to load after having installed
the source but before `require'ing its features.
@item :features
List of features el-get will @code{require} for you.
@item :autoloads
Control whether El-Get should generate autoloads for this
package. Setting this to @code{nil} prevents El-Get from generating
autoloads for the package. Default is @code{t}. Setting this to a
string or a list of string will load the named autoload files.
@item :library
When using @code{:after} but not using @code{:features} ,
@code{:library} allows to set the library against which to register
the @code{:after} function against @code{eval-after-load}. It
defaults to either @code{:pkgname} or @code{:package} , in this order.
See also @code{el-get-eval-after-load} .
@item :options
Currently used by http-tar and cvs support. When using http-tar, it
allows you to give the tar options you want to use. Typically would be
@code{"xzf"} , but you might want to choose @code{"xjf"} for handling
@file{} files e.g.
When using CVS, when it's set to @code{"login"}, El-Get will first
issue a @code{cvs login} against the server, asking you interactively
(in the minibuffer) any password you might to enter, and only then it
will run the @code{cvs checkout} command.
@item :module
Currently only used by the cvs support, allow you to configure the
module you want to checkout in the given URL.
@item :repo
Only used by the elpa support, a cons cell with the form @code{(NAME
. URL)} , as in @var{package-archives} . If the package source only
specifies a URL, the URL will be used for NAME as well.
@item :prepare
This should be a lisp form to evaluate after both the
@var{Info-directory-list} and the @var{load-path} variables have been
taken care of, but before loading the package or any further action
from @file{el-get-init} . It will be run with @var{default-directory}
set to the package directory.
@item :before
This exactly like @code{:prepare} property, but is reserved for user
customizations in @var{el-get-sources} . Recipe files should not use
this property. It will be run just after :prepare.
@item :post-init
This should be a lisp form to evaluate after loading the package.
Intended for use from recipes. This function is registered for
@code{eval-after-load} against the recipe library by
@code{el-get-init} once the @code{:load} and @code{:features} have
been setup. Like @code{:prepare} , it will be run with
@var{default-directory} set to the package directory.
@item :after
This exactly like the @code{:post-init} property, but is reserved for
user customizations in @var{el-get-sources}. Recipe files should not
use this property. It will be run just after @code{:post-init} and
after any per-package user-init-file (see
@item :lazy
Default to @code{nil} . Allows to override @var{el-get-is-lazy} per
@item :localname
Currently only used by both `http' and `ftp' supports, allows to
specify the target name of the downloaded file.
This option is useful if the package should be retrieved using a
presentation interface (such as as web SCM tool).
For example, destination should be set to @file{package.el} if the
package url has the following scheme:
@item :website
The website of the project.
@item :description
A short description of the project.
@item :checksum
Some methods in El-Get download files that are not so trusted
(e.g. anyone is allowed to modify emacswiki anytime). For these cases
you can set up a checksum value for a package, so you will notice if
El-Get tries to install a version that you haven't seen before. The
installation will simply fail and you will see the good and bad
checksum values in @code{*Messages*}. To get the checksum value for a
package initially, install the package while @var{el-get-verbose} is
Checksum calculation is currently supported by these methods with the
following meaning:
http, ftp and emacswiki with the SHA1 of the downloaded file
git in which it is an alias for @code{:checkout} (see below)
@item :checkout
A git refspec (branch, tag, commit hash) that should be checked out
after cloning the git repository. If provided, this overrides any
value for the @code{:branch} property. Unlike the @code{:branch}
property, this can be any valid argument to git checkout, including a
tag name or a commit hash. The intended use of this property is to
"lock" a repository at a particular revision, regardless of what
happens to the repo upstream.
Currently this property only has meaning for git type recipes. Other
VCS-based methods may implement support in the future.
@item :shallow
If set to t in a git recipe, @code{git-clone} will be run with
@code{--depth 1} , which will create a so-called shallow clone by not
downloading all the history of the repository. The default is
controlled by the variable @var{el-get-git-shallow-clone}, which is
@code{nil} by default.
@item :submodule
If set to @code{nil} in a git recipe, submodules will not be updated.
@end table
@node Dependencies
@section Dependencies
When a recipe provides a @code{:depends} property, El-Get makes sure
that the given list of packages is installed and initialized before
the package for the current recipe is installed and initialized.
@node Byte Compilation
@section Byte Compilation
By default, El-Get will recursively byte-compile the directory where
the package is installed, that is each and any file called
@file{something.el}. Some packages include non Emacs Lisp directories,
and sometime test files that are not meant to pass byte compilation
without errors or warnings. It is possible to setup your recipe to
either only target some files of the package, or to bypass byte
compiling entirely.
@node Autoloads
@section Autoloads
Think about providing @code{autoloads} for your recipe if some are
available. You can provide them yourself too, for packages that should
have support for autoloads but ship without them.
The @code{:prepare} property of a recipe is the right place where to
put added autoloads, as shown in this example:
(:name undo-tree
:description "Treat undo history as a tree"
:type git
:url ""
:prepare (progn
(autoload 'undo-tree-mode "undo-tree.el"
"Undo tree mode; see undo-tree.el for details" t)
(autoload 'global-undo-tree-mode "undo-tree.el"
"Global undo tree mode" t)))
@end example
The @code{:prepare} property of a recipe is considered the same as the
@code{:before} one, just evaluated after it. @code{:prepare} is meant
for recipe authors whereas @code{:before} is meant for user
customisations. See @xref{Before and After properties}.
@node Build
@section Build
The @code{:build} property of the recipe allows for OS integration at
build time. Build happens after the package has been fetched, and
allows to run commands such as @command{make}.
The variable @code{el-get-emacs} contains the complete path where to
find the current Emacs executable you're running, as that's something
build commands often need.
As shell interpolation can get hairy, El-Get offers you to setup your
build commands as Emacs Lisp list. See the magit recipe for an
(:name magit
:website ""
:description "It's Magit! An Emacs mode for Git."
:type github
:pkgname "magit/magit"
:info "."
:autoloads ("50magit")
:build (("make" "all"))
:build/darwin `(,(concat "make EMACS=" el-get-emacs " all")))
@end example
@node Recipe checker
@section Recipe checker
There are two ways to run recipe checker. One is to run it as an Emacs
command. Run @command{el-get-check-recipe} in the buffer opening the
recipe to be checked. You can also use a script to run the checker.
This is convenient if you want to check multiple recipes at once.
test/check-recipe.el PATH/TO/RECIPE.rcp ANOTHER/RECIPE.rcp ...
@end example
MS Windows user may need to call the script like this:
emacs -batch -Q -l test/check-recipe.el PATH/TO/RECIPE.rcp ...
@end example
You can also test the recipe with @command{test/}. This
will actually install the package in a test environment. An interactive
version @command{test/} is also available.
test/ PATH/TO/RECIPE.rcp
@end example